Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of your favorite breed.

Muddy
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:45 am

Another guy I knew bred his longhorn cows to a blue bull

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Same bull calf at 6 months old

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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:48 am

My neighbor' blue cattle

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F1 heifer out of a Normandy cross cow and a Belgian Blue bull

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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:50 am

Another friend that bred his bull to Angus heifers. Their calves have been small but vigorous at birth.

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He also has nice 1/2 blood cows with their 3/4 BB calves

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Same calf, few months later

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skeeter swatter
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby skeeter swatter » Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:18 pm

Muddy wrote:Honestly if you know nothing about Belgian Blue cattle, maybe you should just stop talking.


I don't think you meant that as a joke, but it's still funny. :lol:
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby plumber_greg » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:40 am

Fine lookin' calves, but I'll ask again.
The feedlots I know and am around, which is several, have a standing order,"No Longhorn cross calves."
Fine looking calf in the picture, but why? If he's trying to sell weaned or whatever calves, why not keep a cow that will cross with the BB bull he has and sell to any order buyer anywhere?
Muddy, you seem to want to pick a fight, I ain't interested.
So, that is my question, we'll see how it goes and see if I am interested in replying and asking questions about cattle and management practices I don't know about. gs
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Stanford777 » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:29 pm

In my area they would catch a dock first due to the off color, and second very heavily muscled feeders get docked pretty heavy here as well. Our limis will catch a dock due to muscling at the stockyards, it's just one of those things around here, they don't feel like they can get the marbling on those heavy muscled calves, so they bring less. Black is a must, and middle of the road on muscle is where u get the best paychecks. Seems strange but the buyers determine the worth
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Nite Hawk » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:24 pm

:plumber greg wrote---
But giant high weaning weights ususally don't do well on the rail.
Shouldn't everyone's end goal, whether selling unweaned calves, yearlings, or fat cattle, be to raise the best. Bigger weaning weight doesn't mean best. Best is the best when harvested.
I know a lot of us hobby farmers are just looking at the weaned calf. I believe this hurts the whole industry. We should always look at the finished product. Not try to hide some off beef breed, like Holstein, in our calves for the packer to find. HolX cows raise big calves, but one should expect, and always get, Holstein prices for their calves.
JMO gs
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----Plumber greg---Isnt that what you want-- a high carcass weight on the rail, as long as it isn't a super heavy boned animal that is all fat and guts?? Don't you want light birth weight, and a calf that "will grow like a "bad smell" with a heavy weaning weight?
That is where your profit margin is--light birth weight-fast growth after birth-- heavy weaning weight.
What a lot of people don't understand is that many of the double muscled cattle also have a high quality of meat, even if it isn't smothered with inches of fat.
A lot of double muscled cattle have a great shear factor in their meat, (tenderness) and a lot of it is fine grained instead of long stringy and chewy.. (tough)
Locally I have seen an improvement some of the angus actually are now starting to get a 'bum", and starting to get some meat on them.Wasn't but a few years ago a lot of them looked like heavy- fatter jerseys, and they didn't grow worth a hoot..
When you have a smaller acreage, one needs to consider the conversion factor of how much meat can I grow per acre. If I can grow say--14 % more quality meat per acre than someone else, with out pumping a bunch of hormones into them, ( which isn't healthy at all and costs money), and a breed that is healthy and has a good feed efficiency.
I would consider that a business option.
I am not sure what is happening now, but for many many, many years, at some of the top cattle shows in Canada where they had carcass competitions, limousin won hands down for many years. The other "exotic" breeds were not even in the running due to their rarity in Canada, and traditional breed never won at all..
Its only in the last say 15 years that angus even made a show around here, and lots of promotion they made a big splash, due to being able to fight off predators, and drop a live calf without help due to their small size. Now there is starting to be grumblings about the "new angus" bulls siring 120 pound calves, which was unheard of years ago...
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Nite Hawk » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:29 pm

Oh yes I might add, though dairy breeds are skinny, believe me when I say they are good eating, their meat is fine grained and sweet, even though some look like a chickadee..
I know people who crossed Jersey heifers on BB bulls-through AI. I asked them if they had problems calving, and they said they never had a problem. Now I wouldn't do that, the very though makes be cringe, but they did and had good results ....
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:06 pm

Jersey breed is the highest marbling breed - hands down.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Silver » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:30 pm

Some interesting reading about fat, marbling, tenderness etc. if anyone is interested.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK216525/
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby WalnutCrest » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:39 am

Jersey beef is really good ... as a test we're crossing Aubrac bulls on Jersey cows. We have 15 calves (by 5 different bulls) coming early next year.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:15 am

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Jersey breed is the highest marbling breed - hands down.

I've had few people told me that Jersey beef is really lean but still tender.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby Muddy » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:18 am

Nite Hawk wrote:Oh yes I might add, though dairy breeds are skinny, believe me when I say they are good eating, their meat is fine grained and sweet, even though some look like a chickadee..
I know people who crossed Jersey heifers on BB bulls-through AI. I asked them if they had problems calving, and they said they never had a problem. Now I wouldn't do that, the very though makes be cringe, but they did and had good results ....

Chippie on here, bred his jerseyX cow to a Belgian Blue bull and the cow had the calf. Apparently the calf was delicious.
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby WalnutCrest » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:30 pm

Muddy wrote:
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:Jersey breed is the highest marbling breed - hands down.

I've had few people told me that Jersey beef is really lean but still tender.


The whole idea that marbling is the only indicator of tenderness and flavor is a great marketing job.

It's my opinion muscle fiber type is most closely related to tenderness ... and a tendency to marble evenly throughout the muscle (as opposed to huge seams of fat and fat converting that's easily trimmed) AND high butterfat genetics are positively correlated with beef flavor (plus the age of the animal; older = more flavor).
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Re: Belgian Blue - Facts or Fiction

Postby farmerjan » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:57 pm

Walnut Crest has it pretty well nailed as far as the tenderness/marbling thing. In several tests, that I have read about over the years, (Wagyu are in a class by themself) ; jerseys are the most tender with guernsey second, then angus, hereford, and holstein actually coming in about 5th or 6th. This was according to a few times that they had done taste/tenderness tests with chef's and such. I can tell you from years of eating jersey beef; they are tender and do marble well if allowed to reach some maturity. Flavor does come with age. I kill at 26 + months, all according to if I want T-bones or not due to that age rule for BSE and no backbone etc. I usually do not do T-bones because the bone just takes up more room. I do grass fed beef and they might get a couple pounds of grain a day or every other day near the end but not much. After they get to the 36 month age they will get a little tougher, but not to where they are "tough". Add to it the high butterfat to contribute to the flavor.
I am looking forward to some of the Aubrac cross calves this next year. I have used 3 different bulls on some of mine; the 3 cows are holstein/jersey/angus cross. the 5 heifers are at least 1/2 jersey with angus...the dams were jer/angus and some holstein, bred back jersey so the heifers are more dairy than beef. There is a little guernsey in 1 or 2 of the heifers also.

I have read that there is a difference in the muscle fiber and that different breeds with the "double muscling" have different types. I just want to put more "butt" on these dairy cross calves so that they do better at the sales. But if I can get one that has better beef, then I might be able to market them direct and make it pay. I get tired of dealing with the public,but if I can prove that the meat is more tender with a cross and still keep my dairy animals, and raise several calves on them, then I think I will be ahead.

Have one dairy farmer that is going to be breeding only his top 1/3 of the herd to dairy and the rest of his cows to beef so the calves are more marketable. The jersey bull calves are not worth $25. here and although I don't mind them, a dairy farmer needs to be able to at least get $75-$100. for a bull calf to help pay for things. Milk is still so marginal that they are barely getting by. A nice limi cross or something like that will make the calf more saleable. I've gotten one and she is nice, and will be getting more if the prices aren't too high, even though I don't really want bottle calves, these are nice calves.
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